Historical Musings #22: Books to look out for in 2017

Historical Musings

As I mentioned last week, I’m beginning 2017 with no real reading plans or targets for the year ahead. I’m sure I’ll be reading plenty of historical fiction, though, and as usual I would expect to be reading a mixture of older books and new releases. For my first Historical Musings post of the year, I thought I would highlight some books being published in 2017 which have caught my attention.

The publication dates I’ve given are for the UK only and may be subject to change.  The dates for other countries could be slightly different – maybe you’ve already had the opportunity to read some of these!  I haven’t provided a synopsis for each book, but the ‘find out more’ links will take you to Goodreads or other sites where you can find more information.



The Good People by Hannah Kent (UK publication date: 9 February 2017) – Find out more

I enjoyed Hannah Kent’s first novel – Burial Rites – so I was pleased to see that she has another book coming out soon.  As with Burial Rites, her new one is inspired by real historical events but otherwise it sounds quite different, being set in Ireland in 1825.



The Coroner’s Daughter by Andrew Hughes (UK: 23 February 2017) – Find out more

A few years ago I read Andrew Hughes’ debut novel, The Convictions of John Delahunt. I loved it enough to give it a place on my list of top books of 2014 and have been eagerly awaiting his next book. Like the first one, this new book is set in 19th century Dublin and sounds like another dark and mysterious read.



The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown (UK: 2 March 2017) – Find out more

Set in the 17th century, this is a novel about Matthew Hopkins, who was known as the ‘Witchfinder General’.  I’ve had a review copy of this one for a while but have been waiting until nearer the publication date to read it.  I’m looking forward to it!



The Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George (UK: 9 March 2017) – Find out more

I’ve only read one of Margaret George’s historical novels so far – Elizabeth I – but I did enjoy it and have been wanting to read more of her work. Her new book is about the Roman Emperor, Nero, and should be fascinating.



Crimson and Bone by Marina Fiorato (UK: 18 May 2017) – Find out more

This dark tale by Marina Fiorato is set in London in 1853 and is being compared to Fingersmith and The Crimson Petal and the White. I’ve enjoyed several of this author’s previous novels, so I’m looking forward to reading this one.



Six Tudor Queens: Anne Boleyn, A King’s Obsession by Alison Weir (UK: 18 May 2017) – Find out more

Following last year’s Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen, Alison Weir continues her Six Tudor Queens series with a novel about Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn. I have read about Anne many times before, but I found the first book in this series interesting and I’m curious to see how Weir approaches Anne’s story.


The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett and King Hereafter by Dorothy Dunnett (UK: September 2017; No cover images available yet) – Find out more

Great news for Dorothy Dunnett fans and for those yet to discover her work – Dunnett’s six-volume series, The Lymond Chronicles, and her standalone, King Hereafter, are being reissued in September with her other series, the House of Niccolò, to follow in 2018.  A TV deal with Mammoth Screen has also been announced, although I’m not sure how I feel about that!


China by Edward Rutherfurd (UK: 7 September 2017; No cover image available yet) – Find out more

Each of Edward Rutherfurd’s novels tells the story of a particular country or city over a period of time.  I loved his earlier books, which include London, Sarum and Russka, but had mixed feelings about his more recent ones such as New York and Paris. I’ve been wondering since finishing Paris where his next book was going to take us and now it has been revealed that it’s China!



A Column of Fire by Ken Follett (UK: 21 September 2017) – Find out more

This will be Follett’s third novel set in the cathedral city of Kingsbridge, this time moving forward by several centuries to the Elizabethan period.  The first in this series, The Pillars of the Earth, seems to be the sort of book people either love or hate, but I’m one reader who is already looking forward to book three!


What about you?  Are you excited about any of the books I’ve mentioned above?  Are there any other new historical fiction releases or reissues you’re looking forward to in 2017? 

14 thoughts on “Historical Musings #22: Books to look out for in 2017

  1. Judy Krueger says:

    I did enjoy The Pillars of the Earth. So a further one from that time is one to look forward to. And Edward Rutherfurd goes to China! I loved Sarum and Russka. My husband read and loved London. My sister enjoyed Paris. Thanks for this round up.

    • Helen says:

      I’ve enjoyed all of Edward Rutherfurd’s books but the format was slightly different in Paris, which I think is why I didn’t love that one quite as much. I’m looking forward to the new one – Chinese history is fascinating!

  2. FictionFan says:

    Can’t wait to read the Hannah Kent – one of my most anticipated books of the year! I loved Pillars of the Earth and had no idea he’d done follow-ups. I’ll be intrigued to hear what you make of that one. And Dorothy Dunnett is on my Classics Club list so I’ll maybe try to tie my reading into the re-issue date. Great post – thanks for all this info!

    • Helen says:

      The second Pillars of the Earth book was called World Without End. I remember enjoying it, but not as much as the first book, so I’m curious to see what the third one will be like. I can’t wait to hear what you think of Dorothy Dunnett when you read her for the Classics Club!

  3. Jane @ Beyond Eden Rock says:

    I think I’ve collected used copies of all the Lymond and Niccolo books, but it’s lovely to know they will be more readily available. I must get on with reading them before any future dramatization. And as a lover of Victorian London and Marina Fiorato’s last book I’ll definitely be looking out for a copy of Crimson and Bone.

    • Helen says:

      I can’t recommend Dorothy Dunnett highly enough. Reading the Lymond Chronicles for the first time a few years ago was probably the most enjoyable reading experience I’ve had since I started blogging.

  4. Sandra says:

    Several here that are calling me. Thanks for this, Helen; perhaps I’ll manage to read some books in the year they were published from this list. I always seem to be playing catch up!

  5. Yvonne says:

    I’m looking forward to The Witch Finder’s Sister and Crimson and Bone. I enjoyed Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth but not so much the sequel. Not sure if I’ll tackle A Column of Fire, though by the time September comes around I may be tempted.

    • Helen says:

      I’m glad you’re looking forward to a few of these books too! I didn’t like World Without End as much as The Pillars of the Earth either, but I’m still interested in reading A Column of Fire.

  6. jessicabookworm says:

    I have a copy of Six Tudor Queens: Anne Boleyn, A King’s Obsession by Alison Weir which I am very excited about reading. Most of the books you mention sound great though – happy historical reading 🙂

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